March 27, 2016, 4:43 pm
The Weekly Planner is here to cater to all your fantasy needs. We analyze the schedule for the upcoming week and offer advice on potential adds, drops and holds. Your goal should be to win the week especially come fantasy playoffs and with this being championship week, no player should be considered undroppable.
2 teams with five games (ranked by ease of schedule)
With the Bulls fighting for the playoffs, look for a monster week from Jimmy Butler who has been putting up plenty of counting stats and is obviously still holding early-round upside despite struggling with his shot since returning to action (sub-40% in his last 9 games). Pau Gasol (knee, sprained ankle) played 22 minutes Saturday night against the Magic and the Bulls play two back-to-back sets during their five-game week, but he is a must-start guy no matter what.
Taj Gibson has been a top-50 player over the last month and should continue to be a must-start guy even with Pau back. Nikola Mirotic on the other hand has produced low-end value outside of his one big game and even in a five game week you should temper expectations.
Despite Brooklyn having a tasty five-game schedule this week, they play two sets of back-to-back games on the road which could mean rest for Brook Lopez. Despite that, BroLo is a must-start player whenever he’s active and the same goes for his frontcourt mate Thaddeus Young.
Bojan Bogdanovic earns must-start status this week along with Shane Larkin who is coming off a top-50 week. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson remains a sneaky championship week pick-up especially if you are in need of steals. I’d prefer him to other steals specialists like Marcus Smart, Kent Bazemore, or even Danny Green this week.
20 teams with four games (ranked by ease of schedule):
MIA, UTA, CLE, DEN, WAS, IND, NYK, ORL, SAC, BOS, PHO, DAL, POR, NOR, LAC, MIN, OKC, MEM, GSW, TOR
The Heat have the easiest fantasy schedule of any four-game week team, with games coming against the Nets, Lakers, Kings and Blazers who are all plus-fantasy matchups. Hassan Whiteside should continue to be one of the best fantasy bigs in the league and Goran Dragic, Luol Deng, D-Wade, Joe Johnson and the still red-hot Josh Richardson should be in fantasy line-ups.
Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors were the only two Jazz members to return top-100 value last week. Shelvin Mack cooled off but should still be considered a must-hold guy logging 30+ minutes a game as a starter. Rudy Gobert averaged close to two blocks per game which is what owners are looking for at this point. He has become a blocks/boards specialist at this point. Rodney Hood has also looked off since coming back from his brief injury against the Raptors a couple weeks ago and has become a borderline waiver guy in standard leagues.
Despite being on opposite ends of the standings, the Knicks and Cavs are two teams with rest potential. The Cavs play a back-back on Thursday and Friday so that is a spot for LeBron and others to take a breather. Carmelo Anthony could also be sat at any time so owners must have a contingency plan in place.
Will Barton has played well again over the last week but still only managed top-125 value despite shooting nearly 60% from the field. He just doesn’t have the ball in his hands enough to produce at even a mid-round value going forward, but should carry late-round upside. Gary Harris is playing consistent minutes and posting much better value, however he is owned in 20% less Yahoo! leagues than Barton…
One of the reasons Barton’s production is down is the emergence of D.J. Augustin. Augustin has steadied himself in the second unit and has produced top-80 value over the last month. Top-100 is a sustainable floor for Augustin and he should be owned in most leagues.
Kenneth Faried (back) still has not played since injuring his back and without solid updates I would continue to call him a cut-candidate. Darrell Arthur has not shown he is worthy of adding in replacement of Faried and neither has Joffrey Lauvergne. Jusuf Nurkic on the other hand has been balling as of late and I would say he has reached must-own status. When he is on the court he is simply a beast capable of mid-round value and is at worst a blocks specialist.
The Wizards entire starting five should be owned in all leagues, however owners will want to check on the status of Markieff Morris (calf) who has been balling to the tune of top-85 value over the last two weeks. If Morris misses time, Jared Dudley could serve as a low-end addition to your squad although there should be better options on your wire.
With four more games this week, the entire Pacers starting line-up should be owned. Paul George (leg) was questionable coming into Saturday’s game but played without limitations and is safe to deploy this week.
Monta Ellis continues to be a must start player, while Myles Turner has produced top-60 value over the last two weeks for owners. He has potential for even more and is similarly a must-start guy right now.
Ian Mahinmi posted a steady top-100 line over last week’s tasty schedule and figures to be in for similar production this week. George Hill is a guy I have been especially tough on, but he has been playing some good ball lately and has settled into mid-late round value. He’s a hold.
Aaron Gordon has been a maddening player to own but he has posted top-160 value for owners over the last two weeks despite playing horribly. He should be viewed as a late-round asset with some upside but is an end-of-bench guy right now and by no means a must-add/hold player.
His teammate Elfrid Payton has looked good in his return to action and is playing over 30 minutes per game in his last four. He is a guy whose stats jump off the page to you because of his triple-double potential, but his fantasy game lacks counting stats and a high floor.